road accident medical experts

To support the success of a road accident claim, it’s vital to stick to scheduled appointments with medical experts and to give these experts appropriate information.

Why medical experts are key in RAF claims

Testimony from medical experts is the backbone of most successful claims against the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

Medical experts provide independent assessment of your injuries and their causes, and of how the injuries have impacted your quality of life and earning ability.

In turn, this information helps determine whether claims succeed and the value of compensation that’s awarded.

Why it’s essential to keep to scheduled appointments

To ensure your RAF claim is concluded timeously, it’s essential you meet with the relevant doctors and any other specialists at the scheduled times.

Simple missed appointments can make it necessary to postpone court dates, in some cases causing delays as long as 18 months.

Also, highly qualified specialists who are able and willing to provide expert medical opinions are in short supply and their time is valuable. If you fail to make an appointment, you may be liable for the consultation fee – at current specialist rates, anything up to R4,500 – and it could be a struggle to secure another appointment.

What to tell medico-legal experts

The information you give to medical experts – whether chosen in consultation with your attorney or appointed by the RAF – should be as detailed as possible.

Provide an in-depth account of your pain and suffering, at the time of the collision and in the weeks and months following the accident.

Also, loss of income is usually key to a RAF claim. So be clear about how your injuries have affected your productivity and ability to work.

Also explain how your injuries have impacted your prospects of getting a promotion, earning a commission or working overtime – now, and in the future.

Submit supporting documents to substantiate your claims

Where possible, try and back up your claims with supporting documents. Also provide the contact details of work colleagues and employers who are able to corroborate your claims.

Payslips, financial statements, invoices and written statements from professionals may help demonstrate loss of earnings due to injury caused by a road accident.

In addition, you might consider providing a medical expert with a diary, recording your day-to-day physical, mental and emotional state following the accident.

This is a helpful assessment tool that the expert might refer to when writing a report or giving testimony in court.

Be available to see RAF-appointed experts

The RAF is entitled to instruct its own medical experts to evaluate your injuries and their impact on your personal and professional life.

By law, the RAF is required to give no less than 15 days’ notice of a pending appointment. You have five days after being notified to object.

Generally, it’s in your best interests to be available to meet with the RAF-appointed medico-legal consultants. As well as showing good faith, this may prevent lengthy delays in the claims process.


DSC Attorneys

At DSC Attorneys, our medico-legal team has extensive experience in handling road accident claims. We can assess your claim, help secure expert medical opinions, prepare other supporting evidence and represent you in legal proceedings. We’ll give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve – and we work on a no win, no fee basis.

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